Monday, March 19, 2012

The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman

I just finished reading my second stand-alone Dorothy Gilman, The Clairvoyant Countess. This book was really a collection of stories about Madame Karitska and her policeman friend, Detective-Lieutenant Pruden. Madame Karitska meets Pruden when he comes calling to find out why her address was in a murdered girl’s house. The girl has come to visit Madame Karitska earlier in the week and left in a huff when Karitska told the girl not to trust the person the girl trusted the most. As a spoiler, that “trusted” person wound up murdering the girl, and Karitska helped out Pruden by giving him information on what she picked up about the girl. Other cases include robberies at a boarding school, a man dying of a voodoo curse, a woman accused of being a witch, and a missing girl, who was first believed to be dead. The stories are quick, and the same characters weave in and out of the stories. The book is a short one, but a very enjoyable read. I found myself rooting for Madame Karitska. I think that Dorothy Gilman must have had some interesting experiences with spiritualism because both this and A Nun in the Closet have elements that encourage the characters, and the reader, to investigate how the brain and the soul work. Madame Karistka uses psychometry, touching objects owned or worn by someone, to get information about the person’s past and future. There was a later sequel, published in 2002, calledKaleidoscope. I’ll give that one a try too, but I’ve read that it is not up to par withThe Clairvoyant Countess. I wonder if Ms. Gilman was already experiencing some Alzheimer problems, which crept into her work. The disease is a sad one because it robs the person of himself/herself.

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